Watching Porcupines Mate

Google is taking some heat lately. They are trying to cut deals with media companies like CBS and NBC Universall to be able to show their content on You Tube.

As you remember, Google bought You Tube for $1.5 billion last year. Now they are in the midst of trying to get in front of the lawsuit train but cutting deals with content providers to show their stuff.

It’s not going well.

About two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal reported that some film studios had sued Google over their ad support to web sites that sold illegal movie downloads. Now folks like CBS and NBC seem ready to let the lawyers loose and sue Google back to the dial up days if they don’t become more aggressive in marking and pulling down pirated content.

According to an article today in the Wall Street Journal, after Google bought You Tube their CEO Eric Schmidt was making nice with content companies. Supposedly he was offering Viacom a 70-30 split on ad revenue and was almost guaranteeing $500 million in ad revenue. It was reported that Google later backed away from those commitments.

Both sides of the debate, Google and the content companies, are trying to avoid going to court. I think  they’ve seen the errors of the Recording industry and are trying to figure out the business model. All this pointing back and forth and leaks to reporters could just be negotiating tactics. 

Content companies should use sites like You Tube as testing grounds fro new shows. Use them to develop programing.

Yes You Tube and MySpace need to get on the ball and do a better job of protecting copyrighted content by making it easier to take down pirated stuff.

Both sides have a long way to go but at least they’re not just suing everyone under the sun little the Recording industry did.

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